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CHAPTER 3 - SURVIVAL PLANNING
AND SURVIVAL KITS
Survival planning is nothing more than realizing
something could happen that would put you in a survival situation and, with that
in mind, taking steps to increase your chances of survival. Thus, survival
planning means preparation. Preparation means having survival items and knowing
how to use them People who live in snow regions prepare their vehicles for poor
road conditions. They put snow tires on their vehicles, add extra weight in the
back for traction, and they carry a shovel, salt, and a blanket. Another example
of preparation is finding the emergency exits on an aircraft when you board it
for a flight. Preparation could also mean knowing your intended route of travel
and familiarizing yourself with the area. Finally, emergency planning is
Detailed prior planning is essential in potential
survival situations. Including survival considerations in mission planning will
enhance your chances of survival if an emergency occurs. For example, if your
job re-quires that you work in a small, enclosed area that limits what you can
carry on your person, plan where you can put your rucksack or your load-bearing
equipment. Put it where it will not prevent you from getting out of the area
quickly, yet where it is readily accessible.
One important aspect of prior planning is
preventive medicine. Ensuring that you have no dental problems and that your
immunizations are current will help you avoid potential dental or health
problems. A dental problem in a survival situation will reduce your ability to
cope with other problems that you face. Failure to keep your shots current may
mean your body is not immune to diseases that are prevalent in the area.
Preparing and carrying a survival kit is as
important as the considerations mentioned above. All Army aircraft normally have
survival kits on board for the type area(s) over which they will fly. There are
kits for over-water survival, for hot climate survival, and an aviator survival
vest (see Appendix
A for a description of these survival kits and their contents). If you are
not an aviator, you will probably not have access to the survival vests or
survival kits. However, if you know what these kits contain, it will help you to
plan and to prepare your own survival kit.
Even the smallest survival kit, if properly
prepared, is invaluable when faced with a survival problem. Before making your
survival kit, however, consider your unit's mission, the operational
environment, and the equipment and vehicles assigned to your unit.
The environment is the key to the types of items
you will need in your survival kit. How much equipment you put in your kit
depends on how you will carry the kit. A kit carried on your body will have to
be smaller than one carried in a vehicle. Always layer your survival kit,
keeping the most important items on your body. For example, your map and compass
should always be on your body. Carry less important items on your load-bearing
equipment. Place bulky items in the rucksack.
In preparing your survival kit, select items you
can use for more than one purpose. If you have two items that will serve the
same function, pick the one you can use for another function. Do not duplicate
items, as this increases your kit's size and weight.
Your survival kit need not be elaborate. You need
only functional items that will meet your needs and a case to hold the items.
For the case, you might want to use a Band-Aid box, a first aid case, an
ammunition pouch, or another suitable case. This case should be--
- Water repellent or waterproof.
- Easy to carry or attach to your body.
- Suitable to accept varisized components.
In your survival kit, you should have--
- First aid items.
- Water purification tablets or drops.
- Fire starting equipment.
- Signaling items.
- Food procurement items.
- Shelter items.
Some examples of these items are--
- Lighter, metal match, waterproof matches.
- Snare wire.
- Signaling mirror.
- Wrist compass.
- Fish and snare line.
- Small hand lens.
- Oxytetracycline tablets (diarrhea or
- Water purification tablets.
- Solar blanket.
- Surgical blades.
- Butterfly sutures.
- Condoms for water storage.
- Chap Stick.
- Needle and thread.
Include a weapon only if the situation so
dictates. Read about and practice the survival techniques in this manual.
Consider your unit's mission and the environment in which your unit will
operate. Then prepare your survival kit.